Mr. Harrington's Century-SERMON, May 28th. 1753.


A Century-SERMON Preach'd at the First-Parish In Lancaster, May 28th. 1753.

By TIMOTHY HARRINGTON, Pastor of the first Church in Lancaster.

If it had not been the LORD, who was on our Side, now may Israel say—If it had not been the LORD who was on our Side when Men rose up against us; then they had swal­lowed us up quick, when their Wrath was kindled against us—Blessed be the LORD, who hath not given us a Prey to their Teeth. DAVID.
I will remember the Years of the right Hand of the Most-High—I will remember the Works of the LORD: Surely I will remember thy Wonders of old. ASAPH.

BOSTON: N. E. Printed and Sold by S. KNEELAND, opposite to the Prison in Queen-Street, 1753.


To the First-Parish in LANCASTER.

THE following Discourse is Dedicated by theirs in the Gospel.

T. Harrington.

A Century-SERMON.

PSALM cxxix. 1, 2.
Many a Time have they afflicted me from my Youth, may Israel now say:
Many a Time have they afflicted me from my Youth; yet they have not prevailed against me.

A Century from the Incorporation of the Town, this Day expires—And altho' it was long a Frontier, and has often suffer'd the Fury of the Enemy; is yet fair, and flourish­ing.

The Church of GOD has been his peculiar Care in all Ages of the World—And therefore altho' the Seed of the Serpent have often persecuted the Seed of the Woman; yet they have never been able fully to accomplish their Desires—The Adversary hath often lifted up the Horn, [Page 2] and they that hate Mount-Sion have often bro't her low; yet they have been no more than a Scourge in the Hand of GOD, to chastise his People, to correct what was amiss, and to make them more humble and servent in his Ser­vice: Yet the Enemy meant not so.

The Church in this World is in a militant State, and may well expect shocking Assaults from those that hate her.—She hath been troubled on every Side, and perplexed, but not in Despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; a Bush burning, but not consumed.

It was frequently thus with Israel, while they continu'd the peculiar People of God—Many a Time have they af­flicted me from my Youth up, may Israel now say, many a Time have they afflicted me from my Youth; yet they have not prevailed against me.

Interpreters agree that this Psalm was written, when some new and heavy Calamity either pressed hard upon, or impended that People.—But whether when Senacherib, with the Host of Assyria invaded Judea; or when Sanbal­lat, and Confederates, after the Return of the Captivity, made Interest against them in the Court of Persia; or at some other calamitous Season; is neither easy, nor im­portant to determine.

For whatever was the particular Occasion of the Writ­ing; the Design is manifestly to excite that People to a serious Recollection of the numerous Calamities bro't upon them by their Enemies, ever since their being taken into Covenant with, and made the peculiar People of God—As also to acknowledge the merciful Interpositions of God for them; who notwithstanding their frequent Rebellions against him, had not suffered their Enemies so far to pre­vail, as to cut them off from being a People.

[Page 3] Yet they have not prevailed against me, is not to be under­stood in the strictest Sense, as if they had never been over­come, or bro't into Subjection by their Enemies—for in this Sense it is not true, as appears from the Scripture-History of that Church and People.—

The Meaning therefore is, they have never been able wholly to extirpate us, or to cut us off from being a Church and Nation.—

Our Text is well paraphras'd by a learned Prelate.

‘Our Adversaries may Israel now on this Occasion say, have very often, and very sorely distressed us, ever since we began to be a People; it is hard to tell how often, or into how great Straits they have reduc'd us, since we began to be a Nation; and yet by the special Favour of God, they have never been able to accomplish their De­sire of our utter Extirpation.’

From the Words let us consider,

I. The Church and People of GOD, as frequently afflicted by their Enemies, and yet preserv'd from utter Ruin:


II. As ascribing the Glory of their Preservation unto GOD.

I. Then let us consider the Church and People of GOD, as frequently afflicted by their Enemies, and yet preserved from utter Ruin.

The History of their Affliction and Preservation, from their sojourning in Egypt, to the Reign of Abasuerus King of Persia, you have on sacred Record, and is therefore un­necessary to be recited here.—

[Page 4] * After the Return of the Captivity from BABYLON, the Jews were subject to the Persians till the Destruction of their Empire—and had the Privilege of being govern'd by their own Laws, under the Administration of the Tirshatha, in Conjunction with the High Priest, and great Sanhedrim.

But when the Grecian Empire arose on the Ruins of the Persian, the Jews became subject to Alexander the Great—who being incens'd by them, while at the Siege of Tyre, immediately after the Reduction of it, marched for Jerusalem, with a Design of severe Revenge.—In this Dis­tress, God directed Jaddua, the high Priest, in his ponfical Robes, with the Priests in their Habits, and the Inhabitants of Jerusalem in white Garments, to go forth in Procession, to meet him.

This was exactly agreable to a Vision he had seen at Dio in Macedonia, encouraging him to march into Asia, and assuring him of the Conquest—At the first Sight there­fore Alexander concluded him to be the Priest of that God, who conducted his Arms; and embracing him with Re­spect, went into the City, and offer'd Sacrifice to the God of Israel, and at his Departure granted large Favours to them.

After the Death of Alexander, his Empire was divided among four of his Captains, the four Horns spoken of in the Prophet Daniel.—And Egypt fell to the Share of Pte­lomy Soter, who laid Siege to Jerusalem; and making a general Assault on the Sabbath, when the Jews supersti­tously refused to defend themselves, he carried the City, and captivated an Hundred Thousand.—But on Considera­tion of their Fidelity to former Princes, to whom they had [Page 5] been subjected, he confer'd on them many valuable Privi­leges and Immunities.

And the Jews continu'd subject to Egypt about an Hun­dred Years—but then a War arising between Ptolomy Epi­phanes King of Egypt, and Antiochus the great King of Syria, and Antiochus being victorious in the War, the Jews submitted unto him.

Seleucus Philopator, succeeded Antiochus in the Throne of Syria, who being inform'd of immense Treasures in the Temple at Jerusalem, sent Heliodorus to make Seizure of them; and he forcibly entering the Temple for that Pur­pose, was struck Speechless by a Vision, fell to the Ground, and was carried off by his Servants, frustrated in his Design.

Antiochus Epiphanes, a most cruel Persecutor of the Church & People of God, succeeded Seleucus—He assaulted Jerusalem, and took it, and flew forty Thousand, and sold as many into Slavery—He also forced himself into the Holy of Holies, he offer'd a Swine on the Altar of Holo­caust, defiled the Temple, and plundered both That, and the City.

And as if this had been but a small Thing, he after­wards sent one of his Generals with an Army and express Order to destroy all the Men remaining in Jerusalem, and to enslave the Women and Children; who fell on the City on the Sabbath, when they were at their Devotions, massa­cred the Men, and captivated the Women and Children.

After this came forth an Edict, for all Nations [but chiefly levelled at the Jews] to forsake their own Religion, and conform to that of the King.—

[Page 6] And the Officer to whom he had committed the Exe­cution of this unreasonable Decree, coming to Jerusalem, caused the Daily Sacrifice to cease, suppressed the Rites of the Jewish Worship, burnt the Law of Moses; consecrated the Temple to Jupiter Olympius, set up his Image on the Altar, and compell'd the People on Pain of Death to of­fer Sacrifice to it.

Such as were found assembled for divine Worship in the Caves were burnt—And Eleazer, Solomona and her seven Sons, with numerous others, chose rather to submit to the most exquisite Torments, than forsake their God.

And to this Time it is suppos'd the Author of the Epistle to the Hebrews alludes; saying, ‘Some were tor­tured not accepting Deliverance, that they might obtain a better Resurrection—Others had Trial of cruel Mock­ings, yea moreover of Bonds and Imprisonments: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were burned, * were slain with the Sword—They wandered about in Sheepskins, and Goatskins, in the Deserts & Mountains, Dens and Caves of the Earth, destitute, afflicted, tor­mented.’

But altho' God at this Time severely rebuked his Peo­ple, yet He did not utterly forsake them; but excited Mat­tathias, and his valiant Sons, to stand up in the Cause of Israel; who raising Armies, not only made a gallant Stand, but obtain'd many signal Victories over their Oppressors.—And three Years and a half after the Pollution of the Temple, they pur [...]'d it, and afresh dedicated it to the Lord; which was the Original of the Feast of Dedication spoken of in the New-Testament.

[Page 7] The Maccabean Family are said to have held the Go­vernment of Judea for above an Hundred Years; and some Part of the Time as Sovereign Princes, until a Difference arising between Hyrcanus and Aristobulus, two Princes of that Blood; they reter'd it to Pompey the Great, a Roman General, then in Calosyria—But he refusing fully to hear the Matter before his Arrival in Jerusalem; Aristobulus distrusting his Cause, fled and shut up himself in the For­tress of Alexandrian; but on the Approach of Pompey, surrendred himself.—However, his Party at Jerusalem seized the Mount of the Temple, and made Preparation for a vigorous Defence—On which Pompey marched his whole Army to Jerusalem, besieg'd and took the Place, and put Twelve Thousand to the Sword.

After this, Rusus another Roman General, plundered the Temple.—And,

After this, Herod the Great, the Son of Antipas, a noble Idumean, obtain'd the Kingdom of Judea, by a full Vote of the Roman Senate.—In his Time OUR BLESSED LORD was born, and the Infants murdered at Bethlehem.

But notwithstanding the Afflictions of Israel, from the Infancy of their Nation, they continu'd the Church and peculiar People of God, until the Appearance of the MESSIAS, to take down the Wall of Partition between Jew & Gentile, and until the Constitution they were under had stood it's appointed Time—And until by the greatest of all Crimes, the Crucisixion of their MESSIAS, they had provoked God to deliver them to the Power of their Ene­mies.—

And the Preservation of the Christian Church under her Affliction and Adversity, hath been as remarkable as the Preservation of the Jewish.

[Page 8] For altho' the People of the Jews combined against it; and altho' the Heathen rag'd, the Kings of the Earth set themselves, and the Rulers took Counsel together to over­throw it; yet their Counsels were turn'd into Foolishness, and they unable to accomplish their Desire.—The Me­thods they pursued were had in Derision by the King of Zion, and overul'd to the quicker Spread, and Establish­ment of the Truth.—

The holy Lives of the primitive Christians; the Con­stancy and Intrepidity of the Martyrs in Prisons, Flames, and Death, under the Ten Persecutions of Rome Heathen, were more effectual to the Promotion of Christianity, than all the Stratagem, and Fury of the Enemy to it's suppression.—For this Reason the Blood of the Martyrs is call'd the Seed of the Church—And thus Christianity triumph'd over all it's Adversaries, until Constantine the Great was fully seated on the Imperial Throne,—when it became the establish'd Religion of the Roman Empire—And for some time the Church was in Prosperity & Peace.


Before the Death of Constantine, the Arian Heresy ap­pear'd: and at last the Asserters of it became so numerous powerful and malevolent, as to persecute those who ad­hered to the Apostolic Faith.

After this, came on the Roman Apostacy, and Papal Tyranny: Errors & Superstitions over whelm'd the whole Western Church—To which may be added,

The Mahometan Imposture in the Eastern; and the Oppressing the Churches of Asia, by the Saracen Power; under which they groan to this Day.—

But to return; altho' the Western Church suffer'd under Papal Oppressions; yet even in the thickest Darkness, [Page 9] there was a Remnant, who did not bow the Knee to Baal; the Vandois, and Waldenses inhabiting the Valleys of Pied­mont. And,

Besides these, almost in every Age God raised up Wit­nesses to the Truth, until the sixteenth Century; when Luther, and a Number of pious Reformers, arose in Germany, boldly contending for the Truth, against the Errors & Usurpations of Rome.

And divers Princes of Germany embracing the reform'd Religion, boldly in a Diet of the Empire, protested against a Decree which was made against it; whereby they ac­quir'd the glorious Name of Protestants.

From Germany, the Reformation spread into England; Way being made for it, by the renouncing of the Popes Supremacy, and by other Transactions in the Reign of King HENRY the VIII.

And therefore on the Accession of EDWARD the VI. to the Crown, Arch Bp. Cranmer, Bp.Latimer, Bp.Ridley, and other excellent Persons, under the Approbation and Pa­tronage of that pious Prince, carried it on to a very con­siderable L—

When God thus turn'd again the Captivity of Sion, they were like those that Dream; then their Mouth was filled with Laughter, and they said among their Enemies, The Lord had done great Things for them, whereof they were glad.—

However these pious Reformers, by Reason of the Temper and Circumstances of the Times, and the praema­ture Death of that good Prince, cou'd not carry on the Reformation so far as they earnestly desir'd.—

[Page 10] And on the Accession of the Princess MARY, a black and heavy Cloud overspread the noble Design; the Roman Superstition was restor'd and the Professors of the reform'd Religion were persecuted to the Stake and Death—

But on the Accession of the Princess ELIZABETH, the reform'd Religion was re-established. However, neither that illustrious Princess, nor King JAMES the I. her Suc­cessor, nor their Clergy, would suffer the Reformation to be carried on further, than it had been in the Reign of King EDWARD.

Moreover, in the Reign of Q. ELIZABETH, an Act of Parliament was pass'd requiring Uniformity in Worship under very severe Penalties;—continued by K. James I, and more severely urged by K. CHARLES I;

Our Fathers therefore, earnestly desiring a greater Re­formation, and Liberty to Worship God according to their Consciences, chose rather to expose themselves to almost any Hardships, than violate them.—

And having obtain'd Liberty of King James the I, to re­move, and set down within certain Limits in America, with Liberty of Worshiping God according to that Way which appear'd to them most agreable to Scripture;—

They left their native Country, and cross'd the Atlantic, with their Families, into this then howling Wilderness—founding the Colony of Plymouth in 1620.—And the Colony of the Massachusetts in the Year 1630.—

And after their Arrival, for the Trial of their Faith and Patience, God exercis'd them with grievous and mortal Sicknesses, with Scarcity & Famine—Yet they soon spread abroad; and before the Year 1636, had founded the Colo­ny of Connecticut, and had planted in other Parts.—

[Page 11] But in the Year 1636, the Pequots, the most fierce and Warlike of all the Indian Tribes in that Part of the Coun­try, and formidable to all their Neighbours; having com­mitted many barb [...] Outrages on the Narragansetts, to the Eastward, and [...] to the Northward of them; on the Engl [...] [...] Dutch, as they occasionally came among them, and on the Planters on Connecticut River—The Colonies unanimously raised their Forces, and cut off seven Hundred; and Part of those that escaped the English Sword, fled to the [...] and were destroy'd by them; and the other were by the English subjected to, and incor­porated with the Narragansetts and [...].

After this, there was general Peace and Prosperity for a considerable Term.

Thus much in general: we now proceed to a particular Consideration of the Affairs of this Town.

In the Year 1645, Sholan, alias Shaumauw, Proprietor of Nashawogg, and Sachem of the Nastawas, who lived at Wausnacum, inform'd Mr. Thomas King of Watertown [with whom he traded, and for whom he had a considerable Friendship] of the said Tract of Land as well accommo­dated for a Plantation, desiring that the English wou'd come and set down by him.

Accordingly Mr. King, Mr. John Presect, and others,* procured of said Sh [...]lan, a Deed of said Nathawogg, Ten Miles in Length, and Eight in Breadth; with these Re­strictions, that the English shou'd not molest the Indians in their Hunting, Fishing, or usual Planting Places—And the General Court confirm'd the Deed.

[Page 12] On this, the Associates purchas'd of Mr. King all his Interest in the Premises; and entred into mutual Obliga­tion by a certain Term to appear on the Spot, to begin and carry on the Plantation, and [...] with a Preach­er to go on with them.

Having thus concerted Affa [...] [...]ey sent up diverse Persons, [to whom they had given Lots] to perform diverse Things, a [...] [...]e common Expence of the Proprie­tors, before the Time for their general Appearance; and these were the first Inhabitants.

But before the Time for their general Appearance; their Minister, to whom they had committed their mutual Obligation, [whether by Reason of his own Aversion to the Place, or by the Instigation of such of the Proprietors as were unwilling to come up themselves, is uncertain] forsook them, carrying with him said mutual Obligation. And in Consequence of this all the Associates, except Mr. Prescot, refus'd to fulfil their Contract, but yet held their Interest. So that for the Space of seven Years, very little was done to forward the Plantation.—But at Length some of the Rest being willing to engage more heartily in the Affair; On the eighteenth of May, 1653, there being Nine Families in the Place, they petition'd the General Court for an Incorporation, and obtain'd it by the Name of LANCASTER.

From the Year 1654, Mr. Rowlandson preach'd among them, until the 14th of April 1658; at which Time they invited him to settle in the Work of the Ministry among them; and he accepted their Invitation, and probably was ordained the same Year.—

[Page 13] The Town was in Peace and Prosperity for the Space of Twenty-two Years from it's Incorporation.—And the Indians were very serviceable to the Inhabitants, by supply­ing them with such [...] and wild Meat as they stood in Need of; and that [...] moderate Terms.—

But on the Twenty [...] of June 1675. Philip, Sachem of Pocanoket, commonly call'd King Philip, rebell'd against the English, and began a very bloody & destructive War.

And on the 22d of August following, Eight Persons, in different Parts of the Town were kill'd.*

And as the Sachems of the Narragansett Country joined with Philip in his Rebellion; so after the Destruction of Canonious's-Fort, commonly call'd the Narragansett-Fort, by the Forces of the united Colonies, on the 19th of De­cember 1075—The Indians leaving that Part of the Coun­try, mov'd towards Wachusett, and meeting with the Nipnets, and Nashawas, in their March, persuaded them also to take up Arms against the English; and after this Combination, Part turned back towards Plymouth Colony, burning and destroying as they went along.

But Philip, with the Rest, confest by themselves after the Peace to be 1500, march'd for Lancester, in which there were then above fifty Families—And on the 10th of February 1675, 6. assaulted in five distinct Bodies & Places, burning most of the unfortified Houses, and killing seve­ral Persons.

[Page 14] However, they destroy'd no Garrison, but that belong­ing to the Rev. Mr. Rowlandson; in which, there were [...] & Inhabitans to the Number of Forty-Two. And

As there was no Fortification of the Back of the House, and the English being unable to [...] their Shot on that [...]; the Enemy having load [...] [...] Cart with Combustible Matter, push'd it framing to the House; and thus being reduc'd to the sad Necessity of either perishing in the Flames, or resigning themselves to the Salvages, they sur­rendred.—

On this the Men, except one who made his Escape were [...], [...] reserv'd for Torture—And [...] of the Women and Children were [...] which, was the [...] of the Rev. [...] an Account of whose Captivity, Suffering & [...] written by her own Hand, you have doubtless many [...] you seen in Print—




[Page 15] The Women and Children in general, suffer'd no other Evils among the Enemy than what were unavoidable from a State of Captivity, and the Wants the Indians themselves were in—And most of them were return'd.

Capt. Wadsworth hearing of the Assault of the Town at Marlborough, where [...] then was, with Forty brave Men. march'd immediately to it's Relief—And as there was then a very considerable Flood, and the River of Con­sequence every where unpassable but at the Bridge; the Indians had taken from thence the Planks to prevent the passing of Horsemen—And ambush'd to prevent the passing of Footmen; but had left their Ambushment before the Ar­rival of Capt. Wadsworth, who therefore pass'd it unmo­lested, and enter'd the Town undiscover'd, and forc'd the Enemy for the present to quit it.—He quarter'd his Men in various Parts of the Town, and tarried some Days; but before his Departure, lost one of his Men by the Indians.

This is that famous Capt. Wadsworth, who afterwards with Capt. Brocklebank, and the much greater Part of their Men, gloriously fell in the Cause of their Country in a Fight with the Enemy at Sudbury. But to return—

About six Weeks after the Assault of the Town, it being judg'd untenable under the then present Circumstances, both of that and the Country; the Remainder of the In­habitants, except one who was kill'd that very Day by the Enemy, drew off under a Guard of Horse and Foot.—And immediately on this Desertion of the Place, every Building that remain'd, save two, were reduc'd to Ashes.

[Page 16] And in this State of Desolation, the Town continu'd for about four Years.*

During this Dispersion of the Lancaster People, the Rev. Mr. Rowlandson, was invited to [...] at Weathersfield in the Colony of Connecticut, and died before the Re­settlement of the Town.

After the Re-settlement, diverse Gentlemen for the Space of seven Years supply'd the Pulpit.

In Feb. 1688, Mr. John Whiting was invited to preach on Probation; and continu'd preaching until Nov. 1690, when he was invited to settle in the Work of the Ministry; and he accepting the Invitation, was probably soon after ordained.—

In 1688. William, Prince of Orange, arriv'd in England, and King James the Second abdicated the Throne; whose Cause the French King espousing, involv'd the Na­tion in a War with France, and New-England in a War with the Canadians, French and Indians—In the Calamities of which this Town had a large Share.—

For on the 18th of July, 1692, the Indians assaulted the House of Mr. Peter Joslyn, who was at his Labour in the Field—and knew nothing of it till entring the [Page 17] House, found his Wife and three Children, and a Woman that liv'd in his Family, barbarously butcher'd by their Hatchets, and weltring in their Gore.—

His Wife's Sister,* with another of his Children were carried into Captivity—She return'd: but that Child was murder'd in the Wilderness—Thus was he stript naked, and call'd to bitter Weeping and Lamentation.—

In 1695, on a Lord's Day Morning, Mr. Abraham Wheeler, going from Garrison to his own House, on some Occasion, was there shot by an Enemy, that had laid in Ambush for him; but altho' mortally wounded, he rest­ed the Gun from him, and bro't it towards the Garrison, 'till met by his Friends.—

In 1697. A considerable Body of the Enemy, under five Commanders, but one in Chief, came & lurk'd in the Woods for some Time, sending in their Scouts by Night to ob­serve the Posture of the Town.—And having done this, they determin'd to begin the Attack on Mr. Thomas Sawyer's Garrison; and the firing at that was to be a Sig­nal to all the Rest, to fall on in their respective Stations.

And accordingly on the Eleventh of September, when the Inhabitants, suspicious of no Enemy, were gone out to their Labour; they came in several Companies into the Town, and were very near surprizing said Sawyer's Garrison, both the Gates being left open; but that Mr. Jabez Fairbank, who was at his own House half a Mile's Distance, and designing to bring his little Son from said Garrison, mounted his Horse which came running to him in a Fright; and rode full Speed into the Gate, but yet nothing suspicious of an Enemy—However, this was a Means of saving the Garrison: for the Enemy who were [Page 18] just ready to rush into it, supposing they were discover'd, gave over that Design; and fir'd at such as were out in the Fields.—

At that Time, the Rev. Mr. John Whiting being on some Occasion at a Distance from his Garrison, they sur­priz'd and kill'd him.—They indeed offer'd him Quar­ter; but he chose rather to fight to the last, than resign himself to those whose tender Mercies are Cruelty.—

At the same Time they kill'd Twenty others; wounded two, but not mortally; and captivated Six, five of whom returned.

On this sorrowful Occasion, the Town set a-part a Day for Prayer and Fasting.

From 1697 to 1700, several Gentlemen supplied the Pulpit.

In May 1701, Mr. Andrew Gardner was invited to preach, and in September following was invited to settle in the Ministry.—

In 1704, there came an Army of seven Hundred French and Indians from Canada—with two Tribes, under the Command of Monst. Boocore, design'd for Northampton,—but a Deserter came and gave Notice of their Numbers and Approach.—And those Western Frontiers were seasonably strengthened.—

[Page 19] Moreover, in their March there arose a Mutiny among them about the Division of the Plunder; and the Conten­tion rose so high, that above two Hundred of them return'd—But the Rest came on, and sent out their Scouts, who reported, that the English were ready in great Numbers to receive them.—On this they call'd a Council of War, in which they concluded to lay aside the Design on Northamp­ton—and to beat up for Voluntiers, for the Assault of Lan­caster; and a large Number enlisted.—*

And on the 30th of July they came within about two Miles of the Town—and encamp'd, and by Night sent in their Spies to observe the Posture of the English.—And on the 31st, they fell furiously upon the Town early in the Morning; and in their first Onset kill'd Lieut. Nathanael Wilder, near the Gate of his own Garrison.—And the same Day three others near the same Garrison.

The Enemy were uncommonly brave: and therefore altho' Capt. Tyng, who had the Command of the Garrison Soldiers; and Capt. How, who on the Alarm, march'd immediately from Marlborough with what Men he cou'd suddenly raise; and the Inhabitants maintain'd a warm Dispute with them for some Time; yet being much in­feriour in Number were oblig'd to retreat into Garrison.—On which they burnt the Meeting-House, and six other Buildings, & destroy'd much of the live Stock of the Town. Note, What Numbers of the Enemy were kill'd, either in the Field, or at the other Garrison is uncertain, but is tho't to be considerable—among the Rest a French Officer of some Distinction, was mortally wounded, which greatly exasperated their Spirits:

[Page 20] Before Night there came such Numbers to the Relief of the Town, that the Enemy retreated; and altho' pur­sued, yet were not over-taken. Had they like those in 1697, tarried till the Inhabitants, were dispers'd to their Labour, they might in all human Probability, have done much greater Mischief, if they had not entirely destroy'd the Town.—But God had Mercy on his People.—

On the 26th of October following, there having been a Party of the Enemy discover'd at Still-River, the Soldiers and Inhabitants belonging to the Rev. Mr. Gardner's Gar­rison, with diverse others, went in Quest of them; who returning in the Evening fatigu'd with the Service of the Day—Mr. Gardner, in Compassion took the Watch that Night upon himself; and coming out of the Box late at Night, on some Occasion, was heard by one between sleep­ing & waking in the House, who supposing him an Enemy, seiz'd the first Gun which came to Hand, and shot him through the Body in the Parade.

But the fatal Mistake immediately appear'd; and he being carried into the House, forgave the Person that shot him; and in an Hour or two expir'd, to the great Grief not only of his Consort, but of his People, who had an exceeding Value for him.

In May 1705, Mr. John Prentice was preaching among them, and continu'd preaching, until Feb. 1707, when he was invited to settle in the Work of the Ministry, and ac­cepted the Invitation.

On the 15th of October 1705, Mr. Thomas Sawyer, with his Son, and another was captivated.—

On the 16th of July 1707, Mr. Jonathan White was kill'd by the Indians.

[Page 21] And on the 18th of August following, Twenty-four stout Indians, who according to their own Account had all been Captains, came to Marlborough, and captivated Mr. Jo­nathan Wilder, a Native of this Town, and but lately re­mov'd from it.—The next Day being persu'd by about Thirty of Marlborough and Lancaster; and overtaken—the Front of our Men came upon them before they had the least Apprehension of a Pursuit.

Their Packs were all slung, and it being a misty Day, their Cases were on their Guns.—And therefore had ours all run down upon them, they might easily have destroy'd or taken all, and sav'd the Life of the Captive.—The Enemy themselves at the first Appearance of our Men, had determin'd to resign themselves to their Mercy.—But observing that but Ten of the Thirty came down upon them, they took Courage, unslung their Packs, and fought like Men—having first dispatch'd their Captive.

In this Action, the Enemy lost Nine and all their Packs; and on our Part Two, * were kill'd, and Two wounded, but not mortally.

It ought to be observ'd again, that but Ten of our Men were in the Action.

On the 29th of March 1708, the Rev. Mr. John Pren­tice was ordained.

On August 5. 1710, A Party of the Enemy coming by the Advantage of the Bushes, very near to Mr. Natha­nael, and Mr. Oliver Wilder, and an Indian Servant, at Labour in the Field, fir'd upon them. The Servant was kill'd, but they escap'd to the Garrison.—And this is the last Mischief that hath been done by them in this Town.—

[Page 22] The Records of the Church in Mr. Rowlandson's Time, were in all Probability consum'd in his Garrison.—And the Records in Mr. Whiting's Day not being to be found, we have no Account of the Number of Communicants, or of Baptisms, from the founding this Church to the Or­dination of the Rev. Mr. Prentice in 1708.

But during Mr. Prentice's Ministry, 331 were received to full Communion, and 1593 Baptiz'd.—

After a Life of much Service, Faithfulness, and lov'd, on the 6th of January 1747, 8. the Rev. Mr. Prentice de­ceas'd, greatly lamented.—

From the last recorded by him, to the Re-settlement of the Ministry on Nov. 16. 1748. were 38 Baptisms.

And from the Re-settlement to this Day, 70 Persons have been admitted to full Communion, and 183 Baptiz'd.

So that from March 1708, to this Day, 401 have been admitted to full Communion, and 1814 Baptiz'd.

Of the Members in this Church was form'd a conside­rable Part of the Church in Harvard in 1733.

The Church in Bolton, in 1741.

In Part, the Church in Leominster, 1743.

The Church in the second Precinct, in 1744.

With Propriety therefore this Church may say; Many a Time have they afflicted me from my Youth, many a Time have they afflicted me from my Youth; yet they have not prevail'd against me.—

Proceed we now to a brief Consideration of the

II. Thing, viz. The Church & People of GOD ascrib­ing unto HIM the Glory of their Preservation.—

Yet they have not prevail'd against me, is design'd not only to assert their Preservation from utter Ruin, but also [Page 23] to ascribe the Glory of it unto GOD—Unto GOD, who in Consequence of their peculiar Relation to Him, and of his gracious Promises to Them, had gloriously appear'd for them in Egypt, and at the Red-Sea; and often afterwards, when endanger'd or oppress'd by Enemies, more nume­rous and powerful than themselves.

These Ascriptions are common in the sacred Pages.—‘We have heard with our Ears, O God, our Fathers have told us what Work thou didst in their Days, in the Times of old—If it had not been the LORD, who was on our Side, now may Israel say—If it had not been the LORD, who was on our Side, when Men rose up against us; then they had swallowed us up quick, when their Wrath was kindled against us—Then the Waters had over­whelm'd us; then the proud Waters had gone over our Soul—Blessed be the LORD, who hath not given us a Prey to their Teeth—Our Help is in the Name of the LORD.

These Acknowledgements & Ascriptions are not only founded on the Reason and Nature of Things; but also enjoin'd by divine Authority, to keep divine Benefits in Memory, to inspire succeeding Generations with Gratitude, and to engage them effectually in the Fear and Service of the most high GOD—Accordingly we have the Church of Israel assigning this as a Reason of her Practice.—

‘We will shew to the Generation to come the Praises of the LORD, and his Strength, and his wonderful Works that he hath done—For he established a Testi­mony in Jacob, and appointed a Law in Israel, which he commanded our Fathers that they shou'd make them known to their Children—That the Generation to come might know them, even the Children which shou'd be [Page 24] born; who shou'd arise and declare them to their Chil­dren—That they might set their Hope in GOD, and not forget the Works of GOD, but keep his Commands, and be stedfast with him.’

The Deliverance of Israel from Oppression & Bondage in Egypt, was to be celebrated with solemn Festivity, and with the Reason of it carefully to be transmitted by divine Appointment to Posterity—And thou shalt shew thy Son in that Day, saying, This is done because of that which the Lord did unto me, when I came out of Egypt,—And it shall be for a Sign unto thee, that the Lord's Law may be in thy Mouth; thou therefore shalt keep this Ordinance.

And when Haman, who was of the Blood Royal of Amalck, and therefore the natural Enemy of Israel, plotted their Destruction through the whole Persian Empire, and had procur'd of Abasuarus a Decree for that Purpose; God by a very signal Interposition cast him into the Pit which he had digged, and bro't his Devices upon his own Head, but gave Joy and Gladness and a good Day unto the Jews.—Wherefore Mordecai (no Doubt by divine Direc­tion) appointed this Preservation to be celebrated annually with Festivity and Joy on the fourteenth and fifteenth Days of the Month Adar.—This was celebrated with Thanks­giving and Praise to GOD.—

And as the Commemoration of GOD's appearing to the Relief of his People under their Distresses is of divine Ap­pointment; We accordingly find them ascribing the Glory to Him.—Thus after the Destruction of Pharach and his Host in the Red-Sea, Moses and the People of Israel give GOD the Praise—‘The LORD hath triumphed gloriously: the Horse & his Rider he hath thrown into the Sea.—The LORD is my Strength and my Salvation—Thy right [Page 25] Hand, O LORD, is glorious in Power—and hath dashed in Pieces the Enemy.’

When Deborah and Barak delivered Israel from the Oppression of Jabin King of Hazor, they in their trium­phal Song give all the Glory unto GOD.—Praise ye the LORD for the avenging of Israel—LORD, when thou wentest out of Seir, when thou marchedst out of the Field of EDOM; the Earth trembled, and the Heavens dropped; the Mountains melted before the LORD GOD of Israel—They fought from Heaven, the Stars in their Courses fought against Sifera, and the River Kishon swept them away.

And when the LORD with Thunder & Lightning dis­comfitted the Philistines before his People, who persued them to the Confines of their own Country; Samuel took a Stone and set it up between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the Name of it EBENEZER, saying, Hitherto the LORD hath helped us.

And what shall I more say? For the Time wou'd fail me to tell of David and of Asa, and of Jehosaphat, and of Hezekias, and of other Worthies; who with the Pro­phets and People of God, gave Him the Glory of their Pre­servation under Affliction and in Distress from Enemies.

And as the Reason of these Ascriptions hath always been the same, and the same Spirit of Gratitude hath rested upon the Saints of all succeeding Ages; So the Christian Church hath always given to the same GOD the Glory of her Preservation, under the numerous Evils which have been bro't upon her by her Enemies—whether Men or Devils.

And well may the Inhabitants of this Country join with the Church in all preceeding Times, in giving Glory to the GOD of Salvation.—

[Page 26] For when they were few in Number, when they were far from human Help, in a howling Wilderness, and sur­rounded with numerous Barbarians, who thirsted for their Blood, and often plotted their Destruction; GOD the GOD of Israel was their Saviour—They trusted in Him, and were not ashamed—And notwithstanding all the Attempts of their Enemies, whether American, or European, are yet a growing People.

The Habitations of Cruelty are become a Valley of Vision—Where Satan was worshipped with horrid Rites, the GOD of Heaven is now adored—The solitary Places rejoice, the Wilderness blossometh as the Rose, and the Glory of Sharon is given unto it.—

Surely, it was GOD that bro't a Vine from far, cast out the Heathen before it, planted it, and caused it to take Root, and fill the Land; so that the Hills are covered with the Shadow, and the Bows thereof are like the goodly Cedars.—

GOD grant, that the Hedges may not be broken down, that it may never be plucked by those that pass by, that the Boar out of the Wilderness may never waste it, nor the wild Beasts devour it; but may the Glory of the LORD be upon it from Generation to Generation.—

But the present Assembly calls for a particular Address.—

Brethren, as through the good Hand of our God upon us, we this Day see the Completion of a Century from the Incorporation of the Town, and have recollected some of the signal Mercies of GOD to our Fathers under their nu­merous Afflictions by the Enemy; we may with Propriety join with Israel of old, and say,

‘If it had not been the LORD who was on our Side; if it had not been the LORD who was on our Side, when [Page 27] Men rose up against us; then they had swallow'd us up quick, when their Wrath was kindled against us.—Blessed be the LORD who hath not given us a Prey to their Teeth—Our Help is in the Name of the LORD’—Who reigns in Zion Head over all Things unto his Church—And will Reign, till all opposing Rule, Authority and Power shall be put down, and the Time come for deliver­ing the Kingdom unto GOD, even the FATHER, and for presenting his Church without Spot, and with exceed­ing Joy before the Presence of his Glory.

As the Church was purchas'd by his own Blood, the FATHER hath in all Ages committed the Preservation of it to HIM; and as Mediator vested him with all Power in Heaven and Earth. In all the Afflictions of his Peo­ple, he was afflicted, in his Love and in his Pity he re­deemed them, he bare them, and carried them all the Days of old.—He was the Refuge of our Fathers in their Distresses.—Let us therefore mention the loving Kindnesses of the LORD, and the Praises of the LORD, according to all that he hath bestowed upon us—And the great Goodness towards the House of Israel, which he hath bestowed according to his Mercy, and according to the Multitude of his loving Kindnesses.

Let the Consideration of these Things animate us.

1.) To a firm and unshaken Confidence in Him under all Adversity.

This is one important End for which the merciful Ap­pearances of GOD for our Fathers in their Distresses are to be recollected.—He commanded our Fathers that they shou'd make them known to their Children, that they might set their Hope in GOD.

2.) Let these Things excite us to a sincere Compliance with all his Precepts, whether relating to Faith or Practice.

[Page 28] This also is another important Use to be made of them.—That they might set their Hope in GOD, and not forget his Works, but keep his Commandments.

And without a sincere Regard to divine Precepts, our Confidence will be Presumption.—For there is no Promise of Protection or Blessing to such as persevere in Disobe­dience and Unbelief.—

If ye forget the Works of the LORD, and walk not in his Ways, ye may well expect to be abandon'd to all Evil.—This is evident from the History of Israel—For when Joshua and all that Generation were gathered to their Fathers; and there arose another Generation, who knew not the Works of the LORD, which he had done in Israel; They forsook the LORD GOD of their Fathers, and fol­low'd after the Gods of the People that were round about them, and provoked the LORD to Anger—And he de­liver'd them into the Hands of Spoilers, that spoiled them, and sold them into the Hands of their Enemies round about, so that they cou'd not stand any longer be­fore their Enemies.—

Whethersoever they went out, the Hand of the LORD was against them for Evil; as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn unto them, and they were greatly, distressed.—

Muse therefore on his Wonders of old, and on his Works in the Days of your Fathers, 'till the Fire shall burn within you—'till sacred Ardors shall rise in your Souls, and animate you to the most chearful Trust and Obedience.—

Ye are the Seed of the blessed of the LORD, and the Children of the Covenant which he made with them— [Page 29] Fulfil therefore the Obligations, as ye expect the Blessings of that Covenant.—Let your Hearts be stedfast in it.

Be ambitious of imitating whatever was excellent in your Ancestors—Consider from whence ye are fallen—Your Works are not perfect before GOD: Remember therefore how ye have received and heard, and repent—and strengthen the Things that remain & are ready to die.

Is not this the Voice of your Fathers, ‘And ye our Children, know ye the GOD of your Fathers, and serve him with perfect Hearts and willing Minds; if ye seek him he will be found of you, but if you forsake him he will cast you off forever.’

Your Fathers bare the Heat and Burden of the Day, they submitted to many Hardships & Dangers; not only that they might leave unto you a fair temporal Inheri­tance, as it is this Day; but also, what they esteem'd in­finitely preferable, that they might leave you in the En­joyment of the Gospel in its Purity—For the Sake of This, they ventured their Lives into this Wilderness—For This, they expos'd themselves to Perils by Sea, to Perils in the Wilderness, to Perils by the Heathen, and to various Evils.

And ye are risen up in your Fathers Stead; and Pros­perity shines in full Orb upon you—Stand fast therefore in the Liberty wherewith CHRIST hath made you free.—

Give Commandment to your Housholds, and to your Seed after you, to walk in all the Commandments & Or­dinances of the LORD blameless, and to do Mercy and Judgment—That they also may give the same in Charge to theirs—from Generation to Generation—

That the divine Blessing may be upon them, and the Kingdom of GOD be advanced by them.


This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.